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October 23, 2009

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Dodgers tip hat to opponents

THE Los Angeles Dodgers had nothing but admiration for the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday after losing the National League championship series to the same opponents by a 1-4 margin for the second year in succession.

"They kept coming at us," Dodgers manager Joe Torre told reporters after Philadelphia's 10-4 win that clinched another trip to the World Series.

"Offensively they were a tough group for us."

Philadelphia outscored the Dodgers 35-16 in winning the best-of-seven series with two games to spare and blasted four more home runs (10-6) than Los Angeles.

"They're tough, they're kind of like some of the clubs I had in New York," Dodgers batting coach Don Mattingly said about his days as a coach with the Yankees during Torre's reign as manager in the Bronx.

"They're dangerous. They're patient and they're veterans. They've seen lots of different styles of pitching.

"And they're tough. They're a tough lineup to go through," he added.

Slugger Jim Thome, traded to the Dodgers late in the season by the Chicago White Sox, admired the progress Phillies hitters have shown since he played with the club from 2003-05.

"They've progressed into stars. Offensively, their lineup is very, very good," Thome said, while noting the important role played by the raucous fans at Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park.


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